Jack Sheinbaum

Jack J. Sheinbaum

Professor; Associate Director, Academic Affairs

What I do

Associate Professor of Musicology, and Associate Director for Academic Affairs, Lamont School of Music

Professional Biography

Jack Sheinbaum earned an AB in music and psychology at Brown University, and wrote a PhD dissertation at Cornell University on cultural readings of form and musical color in Mahler's symphonies. He teaches courses for undergraduate and graduate music majors on classical music, popular musics, and music historiography. In his role as Lamont's Associate Director for Academic Affairs, he oversees curriculum, advising, and academic assessment. Sheinbaum is currently a member of the American Musicological Society's Publications Committee, and curator of the Pre-Concert Talks series at the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival. He has served as chair of the American Musicological Society's Paul A. Pisk Prize Committee, co-chair of the Rocky Mountain chapter of the American Musicological Society, musicology representative of the Rocky Mountain chapter of the College Music Society, a member of the Society for American Music's Irving Lowens Memorial Book Award, and president of the University of Denver chapter of Phi Beta Kappa.


  • Ph.D., Musicology, Cornell University, 2002
  • MA, Musicology, Cornell University, 1997
  • AB, Music, Psychology, Brown University, 1993

Professional Affiliations

  • American Musicological Society
  • College Music Society


Professor Sheinbaum's primary research interests include Western art music of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, popular music, and historiography. His current project is the book Good Music: What It Is and Who Gets to Decide (University of Chicago Press, 2019).

Sheinbaum's other publications include essays in the journals American Music Research Center Journal (forthcoming); Naturlaut: The Journal of the Chicago Mahlerites (2009), Current Musicology (2008), Journal of the Royal Musical Association (2006), and Journal of Musicological Research (2005); chapters in the books “We Didn't Start the Fire”: Billy Joel and Popular Music Studies (forthcoming), Rush and Philosophy: Heart and Mind United (2011), Reading the Boss: Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Works of Bruce Springsteen (2010), Rock Over the Edge: Transformations in Popular Music Culture (2002), and Progressive Rock Reconsidered (2002); articles in The Grove Dictionary of American Music, second edition (2013), Music in American Life: An Encyclopedia of the Songs, Styles, Stars, and Stories that Shaped Our Culture (2013), and Reader's Guide to Music: History, Theory, and Criticism (1999); and book reviews in Notes: Quarterly Journal of the Music Library Association (2016, 2010, 2004) and Musica Judaica: Journal of the American Society for Jewish Music (2009-10).

Featured Publications

  • Good Music: What It Is and Who Gets to Decide
  • “The Groove of Rush’s Complex Rhythms.”
  • “‘I’ll Work for Your Love’: Springsteen and the Struggle for Authenticity.”
  • “Interpretation and Performance at the Fulcrum of Mahler Reception.”
  • “Periods in Progressive Rock and the Problem of Authenticity.”


  • “Timbre, Early Cinema, and the Perception of Time in Mahler’s Symphony No. 5.”
  • “Suspension, Fulfillment, and Fin de Siècle Orchestral Timbre in Das Lied von der Erde.”
  • "Movin’ Out on Thunder Road: Images of Ambition, Escape, and Authenticity in Billy Joel and Bruce Springsteen."
  • "There’s an Opera Out on the Turnpike: Springsteen’s Early Epics and the Fantasy of the Real."


  • Publication Subvention, American Musicological Society